IMPHAL, October 30: The 33 Assam Rifles under the aegis of Loktak Brigade, Red Shield Division, organized the Ningol Chakkouba festival at their Bishnupur Camp today. Nearly 60 AIDS affected ladies and children of Bishnupur district were invited for the celebration to convey the sensitivity and empathy of the Security Forces towards them, informed a statement issued by the PIB Defense.
It further asserted that the commander, Loktak Brigade, Brig Laove Verma graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, he conveyed the resolve of the Loktak Brigade to continue to support the AIDS affected community.
He also expressed his sincere understanding of their situation and empathized with them.
Verma also handed over token gifts to the invitees.
During the function, Thoibi Devi, president of BNP+, spoke about the various problems being faced by the community. She stated that most of these PLHIV are living below poverty line and are illiterate. She also stressed that absence of an ART centre and specialist doctors in the field of HIV/AIDS in the district are some of the most serious challenges apart from having fear of stigma and discrimination from the society.
She further added that there has been an absence of a long term government policy and program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Moreover, the children are not accepted by the orphanages and also not allowed to attend schools.
On behalf of the invitees, Thoibi Devi appreciated the efforts stating that the festival of Ningol Chakkouba which signifies the strengthening of family ties has been truly lived upon by the Loktak Brigade and 33 Assam Rifles. The invitees were hosted for a traditional lunch at the end of the simple ceremony.